Zoo That Killed Giraffe Kills 4 Healthy Lions

Two females and two cubs put down to make room for incoming male

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2014 2:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Copenhagen Zoo has another controversy on its hands over its treatment—more precisely, its killing—of animals. The zoo, which drew outcries several weeks ago when it killed a healthy giraffe and dissected it publicly, killed four lions this week to make way for an incoming adult male lion, reports AFP. The zoo put down two aging females whose place as primary breeders will be taken by two younger females, along with two 10-month-old cubs who would have been killed by the new male anyway, say zoo officials.

It's all about "the pride of lions' natural structure and behavior," they say. The zoo hopes the new male and two younger females will form a new pride, reports AP. This time around, no public dissection will take place because "not all our animals are dissected in front of an audience," says a zoo spokesperson. The story is generating lots of attention already, though the AFP quotes an ethicist who complains about the "Disneyfication" of zoo animals.

In this July 2013 file photo, a lioness carries one of her two cubs as they are presented to the public for the first time at the Copenhagen Zoo.   (AP Photo/Polfoto, Marcus Trappaud Bjoern)
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